Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today's Toys, Tomorrow's Heros.

More than just a platitude, this could be considered as a mantra for the robotic systems of the 1980s. While Topo and Teddy Ruxpin were making an impression on our childhoods, researchers were developing bomb-retrieval and detonation systems that would come to fruition in the late 90s.

Right now I am seeing about one article every week announcing that a robot has been added to a bomb squad somewhere in the United States.

And over the last three weeks, there has been even more exciting news: these robots are actually being put to use, for everything from vaporizing a makeup case that someone forgot on the bus to detonating a car full of enough explosives to make citizens feel a jolt three blocks away.

Robots are saving lives and performing tasks that we should never need to send a human to attempt. Here are three of the latest Bomb Squad stories.

Robot removes suspicious package in Bellevue bomb scare []
Commuter nightmare []
Robot used to blow up explosives []

[Picture courtesy of the University of Melbourne]

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